Obviously, I had had a go at building layouts many times over the years. I had tried a couple of layouts when I was growing up at my parents’ home at Greenslopes. My next start on a layout construction project was in 1977 when my wife and I moved into our new home. Some of these attempts got to the running stage but most were aborted. My layout at Algester got to the part finished baseboard stage using Linn Westcott’s “L-Girder” technique before it was pulled down and stored in the Garden Shed when I was given Quinton River by a neighbour who had purchased it from its creator, Ron Everingham. My family expanded, I had other railway interests and room at home was at a premium so, unfortunately I was forced to dispose of Quinton River – something I continue to regret. Raymond appears to have gained his love of model railways at this time as he could operate Quinton River and knew all its switches for changing points and isolating sections as early as 4 years of age. He was always very careful with my NSW models and was a good operator shunting Quinton River yard. Kirstine, his younger sister and my eldest daughter also loved working the Quinton River layout. She was also very careful when operating the layout and was very good at spotting wagons to be uncoupled and in coupling up. Raymond and Kirstine were both regular visitors with me to the AMRA Brisbane Model Railway Show. Raymond was always made feel welcome at many of the layouts as the modellers soon learned he would not touch anything unless invited. It was at these shows that Jim Fainges and Steve Malone took the time, as Raymond grew older, to teach him some of their valuable modelling skills. Raymond continues to put those skills to good use some 20 years later.
Raymond (Age 4) & Kirstine (Age 3) concentrate as they shunt Quinton River yard (1985)
Raymond (Age 3) stands in front of the Quinton River control panel (1984)